Natalia Elson, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Cardiology & Comprehensive Care
New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY

We live and practice in fast growing technology era. Dentistry is not an exclusion. Nowadays, our patients are aware of all innovation in dentistry and they start looking for offices that can offer it. On the other hand, we as dentists, benefit from these innovations.

Are we as educators doing enough to prepare our students for a challenging future? Some US Dental School and Post graduation programs are implementing new technology courses in their curriculum like Laser, CAD/CAM, Dexis etc. But in most cases it is didactic elective course. To fit a new course in existing school curriculum is not so simple and sometimes is not even possible.

The biggest challenge is current support from ADEA. We need to build up strong necessity for new technology education and show and prove to ADEA for future recognition. How to start and what to do? To paint a big piece of art, one should start from imagination, be patient, then put stroke after stroke. The same is true in the education field. I personally voluntarily started with lectures about basic laser knowledge to students in my clinic, then I gave these lectures to faculty and saw a growing interest. ”Growing interest” is a key.

Now I am planning to start elective didactic class for D4 students. The next step will be to make a series of lectures to the graduating class and school Faculty, then implement this education into NYUCD Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program. When the interest in Laser Dentistry spreads, the time for curriculum will come.

In our school we have a CAD/CAM training for our students. That is why my goal is to create not just a Laser program, but a New Dental Technology program which will include all innovations that better prepare our students for the future. 

I am an optimist! But Dental schools need the support of manufacturers and organized dentistry institutions to succeed.